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PC refuses to boot



 
 
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  #1  
Old October 25th 04, 05:08 PM
Grumble
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Posts: n/a
Default PC refuses to boot

Hello all,

I've been pulling my hair for 3 hours over this problem, so I thought
I'd ask in here, and see if people have had a similar problem.

I have an oldish (bought 08/2001) Socket A motherboard (ASUS A7V133-C).
The chipset fan was starting to whine after collecting dust for 6 months
(since I last cleaned it up). As I've done several times, I unscrewed
the chipset fan, partly lifted the sticker in the middle, put a drop of
vaseline oil on the fan's axis, and used a vacuum cleaner to make the
fan spin for a while. I did the same to the CPU fan.

Is that stupid? Is there a better way to treat fans when they get dirty
and start whining?

Now, when I try to boot the system, all the fans start to spin for a few
seconds (it varies from 1 to 4), then everything shuts down (I hear
strange sounds in the PSU), and the POWER LED on the front panel blinks
steadily (about 1 second on, then 1 second off) as if the PC was in some
sort of deep sleep mode.

Any idea what this means?

After several hours testing different combinations, I noticed that I
could boot if I unplugged my hard disk drive (uh oh!). My HDD is an IBM
Deskstar 34GXP DPTA-372050.

http://www.hitachigst.com/hdd/desk/ds34gxp.htm

I don't understand how cleaning the fans could have damaged the HDD.

NOTE: A few weeks ago, I thought the drive was experiencing the "click
of death" (I thought it was a 75GXP, don't know if 34GXP were affected).
I downloaded the S.M.A.R.T. diagnostic tool from Hitachi, and ran it for
several hours. It found no problem with the drive.

I'm hoping you guys have some suggestions for me :-)

--
Regards, Grumble
  #2  
Old October 25th 04, 05:29 PM
Grumble
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Grumble wrote:

I've been pulling my hair for 3 hours over this problem, so I thought
I'd ask in here, and see if people have had a similar problem.

I have an oldish (bought 08/2001) Socket A motherboard (ASUS A7V133-C).
The chipset fan was starting to whine after collecting dust for 6 months
(since I last cleaned it up). As I've done several times, I unscrewed
the chipset fan, partly lifted the sticker in the middle, put a drop of
vaseline oil on the fan's axis, and used a vacuum cleaner to make the
fan spin for a while. I did the same to the CPU fan.

Is that stupid? Is there a better way to treat fans when they get dirty
and start whining?

Now, when I try to boot the system, all the fans start to spin for a few
seconds (it varies from 1 to 4), then everything shuts down (I hear
strange sounds in the PSU), and the POWER LED on the front panel blinks
steadily (about 1 second on, then 1 second off) as if the PC was in some
sort of deep sleep mode.

Any idea what this means?

After several hours testing different combinations, I noticed that I
could boot if I unplugged my hard disk drive (uh oh!). My HDD is an IBM
Deskstar 34GXP DPTA-372050.

http://www.hitachigst.com/hdd/desk/ds34gxp.htm

I don't understand how cleaning the fans could have damaged the HDD.

NOTE: A few weeks ago, I thought the drive was experiencing the "click
of death" (I thought it was a 75GXP, don't know if 34GXP were affected).
I downloaded the S.M.A.R.T. diagnostic tool from Hitachi, and ran it for
several hours. It found no problem with the drive.


Another experiment: the PC boots if I plug the HDD's power connector,
but leave the data connector unplugged. Would this rule out a problem
with the HDD? Or can the disk send weird signals on the data path which
cause the PC to refuse to boot?

Could the power supply be giving out? Does HDD initialization draw a lot
of current? (I might not make any sense, I'm just writing whatever comes
through my mind.)

--
Regards, Grumble
  #3  
Old October 25th 04, 06:20 PM
Keith R. Williams
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

In article ,
says...
Hello all,

I've been pulling my hair for 3 hours over this problem, so I thought
I'd ask in here, and see if people have had a similar problem.

I have an oldish (bought 08/2001) Socket A motherboard (ASUS A7V133-C).
The chipset fan was starting to whine after collecting dust for 6 months
(since I last cleaned it up). As I've done several times, I unscrewed
the chipset fan, partly lifted the sticker in the middle, put a drop of
vaseline oil on the fan's axis, and used a vacuum cleaner to make the
fan spin for a while. I did the same to the CPU fan.


Vaseline oil? Is that anything like Vasoline Petrolium Jelly? If so,
it's about the *worst* possible thing to use as a lubricant. It's
closer to a glue. Personally, I wouldn't use any lubricant on such
fans. Oil tends to attract dust.

Is that stupid? Is there a better way to treat fans when they get dirty
and start whining?


Sure, replace them. ;-) "It's dead, Jim."

Now, when I try to boot the system, all the fans start to spin for a few
seconds (it varies from 1 to 4), then everything shuts down (I hear
strange sounds in the PSU), and the POWER LED on the front panel blinks
steadily (about 1 second on, then 1 second off) as if the PC was in some
sort of deep sleep mode.

Any idea what this means?


It seems that "Power Good" isn't. That's not the fans. Either the PSU
or the motherboard is likely bad. One other thing it *could* be...
Check the voltage switch on the back of the case. Moons ago I had
problems with one that was set to 220V.

After several hours testing different combinations, I noticed that I
could boot if I unplugged my hard disk drive (uh oh!). My HDD is an IBM
Deskstar 34GXP DPTA-372050.


scratches head

http://www.hitachigst.com/hdd/desk/ds34gxp.htm

I don't understand how cleaning the fans could have damaged the HDD.


Coincidence. Perhaps the drive is shorted to something? ...moved in
the case, or screws too long? It wouldn't be plugged in backwards?
(I've done dumber things) ;-)

NOTE: A few weeks ago, I thought the drive was experiencing the "click
of death" (I thought it was a 75GXP, don't know if 34GXP were affected).
I downloaded the S.M.A.R.T. diagnostic tool from Hitachi, and ran it for
several hours. It found no problem with the drive.


I wouldn't think COD would cause it to short out. If the PSU won't
come/stay up, you're drawing a ton of current! ...watch the smoke. :-(

I'm hoping you guys have some suggestions for me :-)


Punt?

--
Keith
  #4  
Old October 25th 04, 06:24 PM
Grumble
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Grumble wrote:

I've been pulling my hair for 3 hours over this problem, so I thought
I'd ask in here, and see if people have had a similar problem.

I have an oldish (bought 08/2001) Socket A motherboard (ASUS
A7V133-C). The chipset fan was starting to whine after collecting dust
for 6 months (since I last cleaned it up). As I've done several times,
I unscrewed the chipset fan, partly lifted the sticker in the middle,
put a drop of vaseline oil on the fan's axis, and used a vacuum
cleaner to make the fan spin for a while. I did the same to the CPU fan.

Is that stupid? Is there a better way to treat fans when they get
dirty and start whining?

Now, when I try to boot the system, all the fans start to spin for a
few seconds (it varies from 1 to 4), then everything shuts down (I
hear strange sounds in the PSU), and the POWER LED on the front panel
blinks steadily (about 1 second on, then 1 second off) as if the PC
was in some sort of deep sleep mode.

Any idea what this means?

After several hours testing different combinations, I noticed that I
could boot if I unplugged my hard disk drive (uh oh!). My HDD is an
IBM Deskstar 34GXP DPTA-372050.

http://www.hitachigst.com/hdd/desk/ds34gxp.htm

I don't understand how cleaning the fans could have damaged the HDD.

NOTE: A few weeks ago, I thought the drive was experiencing the "click
of death" (I thought it was a 75GXP, don't know if 34GXP were
affected). I downloaded the S.M.A.R.T. diagnostic tool from Hitachi,
and ran it for several hours. It found no problem with the drive.



Another experiment: the PC boots if I plug the HDD's power connector,
but leave the data connector unplugged. Would this rule out a problem
with the HDD? Or can the disk send weird signals on the data path which
cause the PC to refuse to boot?

Could the power supply be giving out? Does HDD initialization draw a lot
of current? (I might not make any sense, I'm just writing whatever comes
through my mind.)


I tried something crazy: I booted with the HDD's power connector plugged
in, and the HDD's data connector unplugged. I stopped the boot process
by going into the BIOS. Then, with the computer on, I plugged the HDD's
data connector. I checked that the BIOS could detect the HDD and picked
"exit discarding changes".

The PC booted into Windows.

I'm hoping this is a problem with the PSU, not with the HDD (I'd say
that last experiment would point to a failing PSU, no?)

What are the dangers of plugging the data connector with the power
turned on?
  #5  
Old October 25th 04, 09:18 PM
CJT
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Grumble wrote:
snip
I'm hoping this is a problem with the PSU, not with the HDD (I'd say
that last experiment would point to a failing PSU, no?)


That seems likely to me.

What are the dangers of plugging the data connector with the power
turned on?


Don't do that. Most drives aren't designed for it (unless you've got
an IDE drive spec'd for hot-plugging or a SCSI drive, which often are)
and you can blow out the electronics on the drive by doing it.

--
The e-mail address in our reply-to line is reversed in an attempt to
minimize spam. Our true address is of the form .
  #6  
Old October 25th 04, 10:29 PM
George Macdonald
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

On Mon, 25 Oct 2004 18:08:54 +0200, Grumble wrote:

Hello all,

I've been pulling my hair for 3 hours over this problem, so I thought
I'd ask in here, and see if people have had a similar problem.

I have an oldish (bought 08/2001) Socket A motherboard (ASUS A7V133-C).
The chipset fan was starting to whine after collecting dust for 6 months
(since I last cleaned it up). As I've done several times, I unscrewed
the chipset fan, partly lifted the sticker in the middle, put a drop of
vaseline oil on the fan's axis, and used a vacuum cleaner to make the
fan spin for a while. I did the same to the CPU fan.

Is that stupid? Is there a better way to treat fans when they get dirty
and start whining?


I've done clean & lube of fans, usually with the intention of using it as a
temporary measure but have rarely gotten around to the intended
replacement.:-) Vaseline oil is not a good lubricant - I'd recommend going
to a model shop and getting one of their special greases, like La
Belle's(sp?) which are used with model trains etc.

Now, when I try to boot the system, all the fans start to spin for a few
seconds (it varies from 1 to 4), then everything shuts down (I hear
strange sounds in the PSU), and the POWER LED on the front panel blinks
steadily (about 1 second on, then 1 second off) as if the PC was in some
sort of deep sleep mode.

Any idea what this means?


What happens if you press reset?

After several hours testing different combinations, I noticed that I
could boot if I unplugged my hard disk drive (uh oh!). My HDD is an IBM
Deskstar 34GXP DPTA-372050.

http://www.hitachigst.com/hdd/desk/ds34gxp.htm

I don't understand how cleaning the fans could have damaged the HDD.

NOTE: A few weeks ago, I thought the drive was experiencing the "click
of death" (I thought it was a 75GXP, don't know if 34GXP were affected).
I downloaded the S.M.A.R.T. diagnostic tool from Hitachi, and ran it for
several hours. It found no problem with the drive.


S.M.A.R.T. is useless IME. I had an IBM drive (I think 34GXP) which was in
obvious distress: heads clicking and clattering on startup but it would
settle down and the system would work fine for hours. Running the SMART
diags showed "healthy drive".:-)

I'm hoping you guys have some suggestions for me :-)


Try a fresh new IDE cable; check the HDD power connector for expansion of
the split tube pins; the HDD power is not coming from a Y-adapter is it?...
some of those have real junky metal in the pins but try a different power
connector anyway.

Whatever you end up with, I'd get your files off that HDD and onto a new
one... tout de bloody suite.

Rgds, George Macdonald

"Just because they're paranoid doesn't mean you're not psychotic" - Who, me??
  #7  
Old October 26th 04, 11:26 AM
Tony Hill
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

On Mon, 25 Oct 2004 18:08:54 +0200, Grumble
wrote:

Hello all,

I've been pulling my hair for 3 hours over this problem, so I thought
I'd ask in here, and see if people have had a similar problem.

I have an oldish (bought 08/2001) Socket A motherboard (ASUS A7V133-C).
The chipset fan was starting to whine after collecting dust for 6 months
(since I last cleaned it up). As I've done several times, I unscrewed
the chipset fan, partly lifted the sticker in the middle, put a drop of
vaseline oil on the fan's axis, and used a vacuum cleaner to make the
fan spin for a while. I did the same to the CPU fan.

Is that stupid? Is there a better way to treat fans when they get dirty
and start whining?


Yup, replace them! Seriously, just how much does a fan cost? I
picked one up on sale a few months ago for $3.. and that was Canadian
funny-money too!

Now, when I try to boot the system, all the fans start to spin for a few
seconds (it varies from 1 to 4), then everything shuts down (I hear
strange sounds in the PSU), and the POWER LED on the front panel blinks
steadily (about 1 second on, then 1 second off) as if the PC was in some
sort of deep sleep mode.

Any idea what this means?


Sounds like an overloaded power supply to me, though you might want to
check with your motherboard manual to be sure. This is usually caused
by a short somewhere in your system, could be just about any
component.

After several hours testing different combinations, I noticed that I
could boot if I unplugged my hard disk drive (uh oh!). My HDD is an IBM
Deskstar 34GXP DPTA-372050.


Well, looks like you've narrowed down the issue right there. Hope
you've got good backups!

http://www.hitachigst.com/hdd/desk/ds34gxp.htm

I don't understand how cleaning the fans could have damaged the HDD.


A simple nudge of the wires could have been the final straw that broke
a connection inside the drive and created a short. Or it could be
pure random chance. Tough to say.

NOTE: A few weeks ago, I thought the drive was experiencing the "click
of death" (I thought it was a 75GXP, don't know if 34GXP were affected).
I downloaded the S.M.A.R.T. diagnostic tool from Hitachi, and ran it for
several hours. It found no problem with the drive.


Drives can often pass those tests with no faults at all and still be
bad. The SMART tests are definitely better than nothing, but they are
certainly not a sure-thing.

I'm hoping you guys have some suggestions for me :-)


Get a new hard drive? :

-------------
Tony Hill
hilla underscore 20 at yahoo dot ca
  #8  
Old October 28th 04, 12:51 PM
Grumble
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Grumble wrote:

I've been pulling my hair for 3 hours over this problem, so I thought
I'd ask in here, and see if people have had a similar problem.


Thanks Keith, CJT, George, and Tony! Your insight was very helpful.

The problem was the PSU indeed. In my (rather limited) experience,
PSU-funkiness is quite hard to diagnose, as there are many very
different possible symptoms. I'm thankful the PSU didn't take out my
other components when it died (which happened to a friend).

In the end, I payed only 14.50 EUR for a no-name 400W ATX PSU.

--
Regards, Grumble
  #9  
Old October 29th 04, 02:41 AM
keith
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

On Thu, 28 Oct 2004 13:51:54 +0200, Grumble wrote:

Grumble wrote:

I've been pulling my hair for 3 hours over this problem, so I thought
I'd ask in here, and see if people have had a similar problem.


Thanks Keith, CJT, George, and Tony! Your insight was very helpful.

The problem was the PSU indeed. In my (rather limited) experience,
PSU-funkiness is quite hard to diagnose, as there are many very
different possible symptoms. I'm thankful the PSU didn't take out my
other components when it died (which happened to a friend).


PSU's can certainly be flakey. L'Angel noticed this some few years back
and designed a tester (don't know how far she got with the
implementation) to stress PSUs. Actually I was hoping that someone would
pick this up and report. Apparently it's no sexy enough to catch the
attention of the webbers.

In the end, I payed only 14.50 EUR for a no-name 400W ATX PSU.


I don't like the sound of that! A good system cannot be built on a crap
PSU!

--
Keith
  #10  
Old October 29th 04, 03:02 AM
CJT
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

keith wrote:
On Thu, 28 Oct 2004 13:51:54 +0200, Grumble wrote:


Grumble wrote:


I've been pulling my hair for 3 hours over this problem, so I thought
I'd ask in here, and see if people have had a similar problem.


Thanks Keith, CJT, George, and Tony! Your insight was very helpful.

The problem was the PSU indeed. In my (rather limited) experience,
PSU-funkiness is quite hard to diagnose, as there are many very
different possible symptoms. I'm thankful the PSU didn't take out my
other components when it died (which happened to a friend).



PSU's can certainly be flakey.


Amen. I had smoke pour out the back of one once. They take a lot
of stress.

L'Angel noticed this some few years back
and designed a tester (don't know how far she got with the
implementation) to stress PSUs. Actually I was hoping that someone would
pick this up and report. Apparently it's no sexy enough to catch the
attention of the webbers.

In the end, I payed only 14.50 EUR for a no-name 400W ATX PSU.



I don't like the sound of that! A good system cannot be built on a crap
PSU!



--
The e-mail address in our reply-to line is reversed in an attempt to
minimize spam. Our true address is of the form .
 




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